So Much More Than Health Care

So Much More Than Health Care

At James Hopkins Trust, we are often perceived as somewhat of an enigma by the organisations that regulate and fund us. Are we Early Years childcare (Ofsted) or perhaps a hospice with health and nursing care (CQC)? The reality is that we embody both roles, yet when assessed under these regulatory frameworks, it quickly becomes clear that we don’t neatly fit into either category. Thankfully, we have cultivated good relationships with our inspectors, who work closely with us to ensure accurate assessments.

Our funding primarily comes from the generosity of local individuals, community groups, and businesses. Additionally, we apply for grants from various charitable trusts, each with its own causes and criteria. This dual nature of our services can sometimes complicate funding, as some funders may support early childhood care but not healthcare, or vice versa. This blog aims to clarify what we do at here at James Hopkins Trust.

Primarily, our mission is to support families with children aged 5 and under who have severe disabilities and life-limiting conditions. These children often face significant social exclusion and disadvantage. Due to the complexities of their conditions, they are frequently unable to utilise the government-funded childcare to which they are entitled, as there are limited childcare providers capable of meeting their unique needs. Other forms of preventive support are also often inaccessible to the families who use our services.

It’s crucial to emphasise that our goal is not solely to be seen as a hospice/healthcare provider. Our primary aim is to provide essential respite and support to families who care for their life-limited children around the clock, often without the level of assistance that other families can take for granted. We believe that families with children who have severe disabilities or life-limiting conditions deserve the same opportunities and experiences as any other family. Our focus is on ensuring the children are seen as children first, not defined by their disabilities or diagnosis. Our work is about inclusion, empowerment, and enhancing the whole family’s quality of life. By seeing the child before the disability, we hope to create a world where all children, regardless of ability, can thrive.

Disability can affect anyone, regardless of background. Being a parent to a disabled child involves not just the usual parental responsibilities but much more, often with less support. We aim to give parents a break and allow children to spend time with their peers and experience opportunities they might otherwise miss.

While there are many other children’s charities in the county offering excellent support to families facing various challenges, including homelessness, poverty, and seeking refuge, our work is vital. Families with disabled children might not be able to benefit fully from the support of other charities without the specialised assistance we provide. We play a crucial role in preventing family breakdowns for those facing immense challenges in caring for their children. Often, we are the only support they have, helping them to keep their heads above water.

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